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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Sept 8: Sin City


Sept 8: Sin City

"A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption."
Directed by: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez, Rated: R, 124 minutes

Sin City is a film with balls- big, violent, hilarious balls. It's like nothing you've seen before and is a festival of eye candy, with each scene looking sexier than the last. The film features one hell of a cast, all obviously having one hell of a fun time with it, and manages to turn something 'pulpy' into something that's worth every moment of your time. It's simply too cool to ignore, even if you're not a fan of a violent, over-the-top, good ol' fashioned orgy of awesome. 

And Jessica Alba plays a stripper. That is all. 

In the city of Basin City, criminals and prostitutes are at every corner. You survive by paying off the cops, being a badass yourself, or being a sexy dame a guy would kill for. Sin City focuses on three individuals in this ultra-violent "Gotham"- Dwight (Clive Owen), Hartigan (Bruce Willis), and Marv (Mickey Rourke). Dwight's a do-gooder who knows the streets as well as the women of Old Town (Basin City's version of a red-light district, but the "women of the night" are in charge, not the cops). Hartigan's a cop, one of the few good ones left in the city. He tracks down a girl kidnapped by a rapist and swears to do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if it means losing his own life. Marv, a hulk of a man, is bullet-proof in his mission, seeking the murderer of a pretty whore that gave him too much attention. Throw in a constant narration from each of the men, detailing their lives with the most noir-esque lines you can imagine, and Sin City turns into the perfect combination of classic detective stories, pulp novels, and the grindhouse style of the 70s. 

The best part of the film is the visual style, being one of the most faithful comic adaptations (of any kind, actually) of all time. The pages of Frank Miller's graphic novels come to life on the screen, each scene literally ripped from the pages. Even the color palette, a heavy black and white with colors for accents, come straight out of the novels. Not only is this beautiful to watch, but the color scheme fits the stylized nature of the plot and turns something so violent and bloody into a work of art. Robert Rodriguez, best known for his Mariachi Trilogy and yes, Spy Kids, continues to show how incredible he is with a camera and creates his own unique masterpiece, giving so much depth and character to a 2D world that the genius Frank Miller created. 
Sin City is one of those films everyone needs to see, if just for the technical aspect alone. Yes, it's incredibly violent and and not for the weak of heart, but the gorgeous detail put into the film as well as the a group of characters so perfectly cast makes it easier to swallow. Sin City is an instant classic in its own genre and shows you that faithful adaptations do exist. While comic adaptations of every nature fly into theaters every summer, Sin City still remains the best, even after seven years and the continued promise of a sequel. As we all know, if you turn the right corner of Sin City, you can find anything. Here's hoping that anything is that sequel. 

Mickey Rourke was born to play Marv. 

The Good:
a great cast, with each actor fitting his/her role perfectly
The Better:
dialogue so rich with awesome, with every line reminiscent of something you'd read or hear in the 50s, when being cool was everywhere and a lit cigarette made you a badass
The Best:
a unique style that turns the film into something more than a run-of-the-mill action flick and proves that graphic novels can make a perfect leap to film

Overall: 9.5/10


If you're not sold on the film now, just take a look at the rest of the cast- Rosario Dawson, Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP), Elijah Wood, Carla Gugnio, Josh Hartett, Powers Boothe, Rutger Hauer, Benicio Del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Devon Aoki, Alexis Bledel, Jaime King, and Tommy Flanagan.  

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At September 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM , Blogger Dusty said...

I only read this to make sure that you did the film justice. It's one of my favorites. I've seen it countless times. You have my approval sir.

At September 8, 2012 at 10:09 PM , Blogger Dusty said...

BTW, Jessica Alba plays a stripper and is one of the few girls who doesn't show her boobs. What's the point?

At September 8, 2012 at 10:20 PM , Blogger Bubbawheat said...

I really need to rewatch this one soon. I've got the big 3 disc version that I believe has not only an extended edition, but it has the option to watch each story individually rather than being intercut between the three. Beautiful movie, and I believe the sequel is just a red herring. Last I heard it was supposed to be filming after Machete 2, but haven't heard anything definite since.

At September 8, 2012 at 11:01 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Woo. I have re-earned your respect after The Lorax.

At September 8, 2012 at 11:01 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Stupid non-nudity clauses in her contract.

At September 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM , Blogger Nick said...

I heard that too, but Rodriguez also promised it like 5 years ago so I'm not holding my breath. He's a busy, busy man, which in some cases is a bad thing. I liked Machete but I do not need a sequel. Sin City 2 is much more 'valuable' in my eyes.

At September 11, 2012 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Sati. said...

Love the film! Probably wouldn't rate it as high as you, but it is definetly unique and the cast is amazing. My favorite is definetly Marv's chapter. Can't wait for the sequel!

At September 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM , Blogger Nick said...

Mickey Rourke is awesome as Marv. Heard rumors he'd return somehow in the sequel. Very exciting!

At September 14, 2012 at 6:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y'know, the further out I've gotten from this movie, the less I've come to like it. It's all style, no substance, a glitzy and glossy and (admittedly) exciting product bearing not an ounce of genuine subtext to carry it outside of its own titillation. Not saying I dislike it per se, but it's certainly not the movie I thought it was at release. At best I think it's a great discussion point for comic book adaptations by virtue of the faithfulness you touch on in your review. (Which is itself a perfectly worthy conversation, if not a particularly expansive one.)

At September 14, 2012 at 7:55 AM , Blogger Nick said...

While I admit I noticed that as well, I still love the hell out of it and appreciate it for the epic-ness it is. The style is over substance, yet... but that's how it's supposed to be. Going into it, there's really no depth behind it as it has that pulpy, over-the-top-ness.

At September 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM , Anonymous Lights Camera Reaction said...

Love this film. One of my favourites.
My favourite scene is the Murphy/Owen/Del Toro bit,

At September 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM , Blogger Nick said...

Yeah.. all three are terrific in that sequence.


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